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European Commission Daily News 14th October

COLLEGE MEETING: enhanced EU commitment to a greener, more peaceful and prosperous Arctic region

The High Representative and the Commission yesterday presented their approach to a stronger EU engagement for a peaceful, sustainable and prosperous Arctic region. The Arctic region is of major strategic importance for the European Union, with regard to climate change, raw materials as well as geostrategic influence. the  communication provides a response to these geopolitical, environmental, economic, security and social challenges and discusses the prospects. It aims to strengthen cooperation with partners on sustainable approaches to these challenges. The EU will establish a European Commission office in Greenland, which will improve the visibility of Arctic issues in the Union’s external relations. EU financial support will also aim to promote the green transition in the Arctic, for the benefit of Arctic populations. In view of the  United Nations climate change conference (COP 26) and in support of global climate action, the communication calls for oil, coal and gas to remain buried in the ground. More information in the press release , a question- and -answer document and a fact sheet .

Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland: Commission proposes bespoke arrangements to benefit Northern Ireland

The European Commission yesterday proposed bespoke arrangements to respond to the difficulties that people in Northern Ireland have been experiencing because of Brexit, by further facilitating the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. The package proposes further flexibilities in the area of food, plant and animal health, customs, medicines and engagement with Northern Irish stakeholders. It also proposes a different model for the implementation of the Protocol, in which the flow of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland – in respect of goods destined to stay in Northern Ireland – is facilitated to a significant extent. These measures come in addition to the package that was presented in June 2021, which facilitates the movement of live animals from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Vice-President Maros Šefčovič said: “I have listened to and engaged with Northern Irish stakeholders. Today’s proposals are our genuine response to their concerns. We have put a lot of hard work into them to make a tangible change on the ground, in response to the concerns raised by the people and businesses of Northern Ireland. We are looking forward to engaging earnestly and intensively with the UK government, in the interest of all communities in Northern Ireland.” The Commission now stands ready to engage in intensive discussions with the UK government, with a view to reaching a jointly agreed permanent solution as soon as possible. The Commission will do this in close collaboration and constant dialogue with the European Parliament and Council. You can watch yesterday’s press conference and read Vice-President Šefčovič‘s remarks online. A press release and Q&A are also available online.

Building sustainable food systems: Executive Vice-President Timmermans, Commissioners Wojciechowski and Kyriakides at Farm to Fork Conference

The second edition of the annual Farm to Fork Conference ‘Building sustainable food systems together’ will be held this afternoon and tomorrow morning (14-15 October 2021). This year’s conference will be opened by Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal, Frans Timmermans and will be hosted by Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski, as well as by representatives of the Commission’s Directorate-General for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. The conference will focus on the progress made on the initiatives foreseen in the Farm to Fork Strategy’s Action Plan and on the efforts to achieve a global transition to sustainable food systems. Three panel discussions will be held throughout the first day involving high-level speakers from the EU and other international partners, such as Jože Podgoršek, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of Slovenia, representing the Council Presidency, Dr Martin Frick, UN  Deputy Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit, and Arai Yutaka, Vice-Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Japan. Panellists will debate on the challenges and opportunities of a global transition to sustainable food systems, assess the results of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and plug in to the Dubai Expo2020 while discussing the developing of partnerships/green alliances on sustainable food systems.  On Friday morning Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence and President of Eurocities, will give a speech on how cities can participate in building sustainable and resilient food systems. Several breakout sessions on concrete ways to achieve this transition will follow during the day. You can find more information in the Agenda and follow the events live on 14 October and on 15 October

Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Commissioner Gabriel in Sofia to speak about Bulgaria’s Green Transition

Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel will travel to Sofia, Bulgaria to speak at the event ‘Green Transition: Solution and Challenges for Bulgaria‘ tomorrow. Together with representatives of the Bulgarian institutions, business and non-governmental sector, they will discuss the opportunities and challenges of the green transition in Bulgaria. In order to speed up the decarbonisation of the European economy and reduce greenhouse gas emission by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels and to reach climate neutrality by 2050, every country needs to contribute. It is crucial to make sure this major transition towards a prosperous, resilient and climate neutral economy by 2050 is done in a socially fair manner, leaving no one behind. This transition brings many benefits, not only will it drastically improve living conditions of Europeans with cleaner air, greener cities, better connected rural areas and healthy food but it will also create new business opportunities and future-proofed jobs, the Commission wants to make sure that every European gets equal access to these new opportunities. Education, research and innovation will play a central role in accelerating and navigating the necessary transitions, deploying solutions, engaging citizens in social innovation, and developing skills. Horizon EuropeErasmus+, in synergy with other EU programmes, will be key to leveraging national public and private investment. Together they will foster new technologies, sustainable solutions and disruptive innovation, needed skills and competences, as well as spread successful new solutions across Europe and the world. Executive Vice-President Timmermans will also meet bilaterally with Prime Minister Stefan Yanev. 

Read the European Commission Daily News in full here.

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